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Newbee. Irritable bees - go in or stay out of the hive?

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Kasia 

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I'm new to beekeeping and formus - please bee gentle :) I need to take out a frame with a queen cell probably just about to be capped but my bees are extremely irritable when I go into the hive and they are normally very placid and ignore my presence but now they have been pinging my veil and there is a loud angry hum when I start taking out the frames. I keep the frames covered with a cloth when working on them. Smoking does not seem to calm them. Should I just go ahead with them in this mood?
 

oliver90owner 

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Taking out a frame should not be that difficult (pinging or not), especially as you apparently know of its position.

But the underlying reason of why you are needing to do this this may answer the root cause of the irritability.

Any hints?

In other words, not much information to go on.


Regards, RAB
 

Friar Tuck 

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If a Queen Cell (QC) is present this must mean the bees want to swarm? or a supersedure is going to happen! I have had QC present i did an AS (artificial swam). The hive with no queen acted like yours a bit unhappy is your queen still present? bee-smillie
 

Kasia 

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There are two brood boxes: lower has 5 frames of capped brood, plenty bees. Upper box has 3-4 frames of capped brood and each frame heavily covered with bees, 2-3 frames are drawn with capped honey stores but nothing else - the rest have not been drawn.
 

gavin 

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Hi Kasia

Just one or two queen cells probably mean that the bees feel obliged to make them, it isn't the time for swarming in the Highlands. Either supercedure cells or emergency queen cells if something has happened to the queen. Do you know for sure that she is still there?

If it is supercedure and you want to try to make a nuc strong enough to survive the winter then it might still be possible. Safest though just to let them get on and do what they want.

best wishes

Gavin
 

beebreeder 

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I agree with Gavin, only thing I would add is have they got enough stores, if not feed them, lack of queen and food does make bees irritable.
kev
 
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gavin 

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Quite right Kev. The bees will need about 6 full BS brood frames of stores as a minimum for the winter if they are native type, and maybe a whole box if they are some continental race. If you are near heather (or possibly balsam) and the weather in the next month is kind then they may be OK, but if not you might need to feed. From about now they can be reluctant to work new frames of foundation.

It is generally best not to give a second box until they are close to finishing the first. If you have unused frames at the sides of the lower box I'd consider moving the frames in the upper box to the outside of the bee occupied frames in the lower box and taking the upper box away for storage. Keeps them cosy for the winter. Finman would talk about vain space.

G.
 

Kasia 

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Thanks everyone. I can't find my marked queen so I will let nature take its course (might be a steep learning curve for me - but hey that's what it's all about.) I will feed well and combine the frames into one box.
 

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